I remember the first time I was served an amuse bouche. Just when I was trying not to reach for another piece of bread, a tiny plate of fuschia and golden beets sprinkled with smoked sea salt was set in front of me (see picture). Not only was I unaware that beets came in more than one color, but that restaurants (really good ones) sometimes serve a complimentary pre-meal morsel called an "amuse bouche." Literally, it means "mouth pleaser." I'm not big on beets, so my mouth was indeed surprisingly pleased by the delicate and satisfying flavor of this amuse bouche. It also encouraged me that more good things were to come.
I like the quote in the wikipedia entry "The amuse-bouche is the best way for a great chef to express his ideas in small bites." Spiritually speaking, what if God was the great chef, the gospel was his idea, and your words were the small bites?
Before most people encounter Jesus in a personal way, they will meet his followers - not just in person, but in books and blogs by believers. The old saying "you're the only Bible someone will ever read" could be more hopefully phrased as "you're the first Bible someone will ever read" Christians are obviously not perfect representations of who God is or flawless interpreters of his written revelation of himself to us, but that is precisely how he will use us to reach others. His power is made perfect in our weakness. He has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. And at the same time, God made each person in his image. He loves us and reveals himself to us and through us. Our words--spoken and written--can illuminate God's truth.
Let us then be a living fragrance, so that when people breathe in our words--either aloud or through our pens--it will provoke an irresistible urge to taste and and see that the Lord is good. May his Holy Spirit in us awaken their spiritual senses and pique their palates like an amouse-bouche, making them hungry for Jesus and thirsty for the water that only he can give, beckoning them to the holy banquet where they can be satisfied with the richness of his grace, in the presence of their Creator who has a unique purpose for each human being in bringing glory to himself.